Boxing burns more calories than jogging or weight lifting, study finds

A new health survey revealed that boxing is the best way to shed those unwanted pounds — more so than sex or even swimming. Boxing can potentially burn around 800 calories in an hour, whereas sex burns a measly 200 calories an hour for men and a sad 138 calories for women. These findings suggests that boxing is the most effective physical activity for weight loss.

The survey listed 50 common activities and recorded how many calories each burned. Squash was noted to be the second most effective sport for weight loss, burning around 748 calories an hour. Watching TV on a sofa burned zero calories (although this rose to 20 calories an hour if the person watched TV while standing up). Researchers behind the survey stated that while any sport or activity is advantageous in weight loss, certain sports proved to be more beneficial. The amount of calories burned in these activities were seen to be dependent on how many muscle groups the sport engaged. For example, boxing was the most effective because it manipulated multiple muscle groups. Squash was also extremely effective for weight loss because the rallies were longer than other racket sports and the break between points was shorter than tennis. Moreover, squash typically involved players moving around constantly, which built muscle strength and endurance.

Following boxing and squash were:

  • Rowing (740 calories an hour, but only if this was done on a river or lake; rowing in a gym only burnt 440 calories an hour)
  • Road running at fast or medium pace (700 calories an hour)
  • Swimming (680 calories an hour, but only if one was doing the front crawl or butterfly; breast stroke burnt only 408 calories)
  • Rugby (614 calories an hour)
  • Football (612 calories an hour)
  • Road cycling at a fast pace (604 calories an hour; road cycling on a gym bike only burnt 540 calories an hour)
  • Gym (590 calories an hour, but only if one was performing a weights and cardio routine; if people just stuck to weights, they only burnt 380 calories an hour)
  • Running on a treadmill (580 calories an hour)

The least effective activities for weight loss were noted to be:

  • Watching TV on a sofa (zero calories an hour)
  • Watching TV standing up (20 calories an hour)
  • Typing (34 calories an hour)
  • Having a bath (35 calories an hour)
  • Driving a car (68 calories an hour)
  • Cooking (69 calories an hour)
  • Shopping (86 calories an hour)
  • Washing dishes (88 calories an hour)
  • Playing the piano (100 calories an hour)
  • Bird watching (101 calories an hour)
  • Household chores such as dusting and vacuuming (102 calories an hour)

So where does sex compare to all of this? Not bad, actually. Sex is a moderate to intense physical activity, burning a relatively good amount of calories an hour. Men were noted to burn more calories though. A 2013 study published in PLOS ONE revealed that men spent more energy during sex compared to women, even reporting that sex was “more strenuous” for them compared to a 30-minute treadmill session. Women, on the other hand, did not seem to experience any difference between sex and working out on a treadmill. Nevertheless, sex, despite its “lack” of calorie-burning characteristics when compared to boxing, is seen as a highly pleasurable and emotionally pleasant event. (Related: Regular Sex Improves Health and Doubles Life Expectancy.)

The managing director of the group that commissioned the survey, Lee Smith, told Mirror.co.uk that, “the figures show that any activity is better than lounging in front of the TV and, if you are going to do that, at least do it standing up and burn 20 calories an hour…. We just hope that these figures encourage more people to get active to combat our growing obesity crisis.”  

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Sources include:

DailyMail.co.uk

Mirror.co.uk

Journals.PLOS.org

Atlanta.CBSLocal.com